KU (mostly) cruises against decimated Billikens bunch
The first question I had was "what is a billiken?" I have followed college basketball for a long time and have never bothered to ask this question. Maybe as kansas fans we don't have the right to ask this question, since our mascot is also fictional. But the Billiken is as follows:
The Billiken was a charm doll created by an American art teacher and illustrator, Florence Pretz of St. Louis, Missouri, who is said to have seen the mysterious figure in a dream. In 1908, she obtained a design patent on the ornamental design of the Billiken, who was elf-like with pointed ears, a mischievous smile and a tuft of hair on his pointed head. His arms were short and he was generally sitting with his legs stretched out in front of him. To buy a Billiken was said to give the purchaser luck, but to have one given would be better luck.
That's the Billiken as displayed on the university grounds.
In any event, back to the game. St. Louis was without its best guard from last year, Kwamain Mitchell, who the camera crew kept showing in a bright greenish button down shirt with a big bowtie who kept glowering menacingly at the KU players. An interesting visual. They were also missing Keith Carter and their Defensive stopper guy, Jordair Jett, just kept grabbing his groin most of the night. They did have a healthy blue-haired weirdo who kept floping all over the court and would give Manu Ginobli a challenge for the Academy Award for best acting in a men's sporting event (sorry Deron!).
Anyway, I thought the Hawks, again, did a great job of putting the pedal to the metal from the get go. Withey had a slow first half, was solid defensively, then decided to dominate in the second. He had like 7 or 8 blocks, it was awesome. I believe SLU stopped double-teaming him for a while. Relaford again was dynamite with 23 points. I think he only had 1 rebound in each game. Maybe that's a fluke?
My big ponderances at point continued. At times, it seemed like the offense ran better through Tharpe than through Ellijah. Even the color guy, Steven Bardo (old Illinois alum from the 1989 Final Four team with Kendall Gill, who I actually grew to like over these two games) he seemed to make a point of saying that Tharpe was making better decisions with the ball and putting people in the right spots. It was hard to tell in games we dominate, but when the chips are down, I'm keeping an eye on this situation.
Freshman watch: Mclemore had a quiet(er) game with 11 points. Despite this, both Bardo and the announcer stated "He's probably a one and done guy." Bardo replied "Probably?", implying it was a foregone conclusion. Perry Ellis disappeared a bit. SLU had a couple of bigs that seemed to bother him, and the blue haired guy flopping all over the floor didn't help either. Still, he needs to get to the line. I just don't know how well he can get his shot off in traffic against bigger competition.